Monday, August 14, 2006

President of Iran Ahmadinejad starts a blog.

Politics: I can't wait to see his blog roll.

The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has joined Barbara Streisand, the musician Moby, Boris Johnson and Jeffrey Archer in the latest internet phenomenon - blogging. Set up with little fanfare, his site is available in Farsi, Arabic and English at www.ahmadinejad.ir/ In keeping with most personal blogs his first entry is excessively long and rather dull, a fact he bashfully admits at the end. "I will continue this topic later on as it took long in the beginning. From now onwards, I will try to make it shorter and simpler." The 2,300 word discourse reveals little about him as a man save a story about his final exams. "Although I had a nose bleeding during the test, I became 132nd student among over 400 thousand." The rest is a diatribe against The Great Satan. However, his hatred of America has not stopped him using US software, despite a ban on exports of Microsoft products to Iran. And the site administrator, listed as Mahdi Ahmadi Nejad, of Pasteur Sq., Pasteur St., Peresident (sic) Office, has an e-mail account provided by the US search engine Google. His blog has yet to capture a large audience. A poll ("Do you think that the US and Israeli intention and goal by attacking Lebanon is pulling the trigger for another word [sic] war?") has attracted only 4,000 votes, fewer than the 17,284,782 votes he polled in the June 2005 vote. If Iran's nuclear programme is built to the same standards as the president's blog, the West has little to fear. The code used to generate the site failed all of the standard validation tests.
Other news about Iranian Bloggers.
Iranian censors clamp down on bloggers BRIAN MURPHY Associated Press TEHRAN, Iran - Sayeed Habibi considers himself a marked man. The reason: his Internet blog that challenges some of the policies of Iran's theocracy. He predicts that someday - perhaps soon - he'll be taken to prison and his site will be shut down. "And another voice will be silenced," said Habibi, a 34-year-old postgraduate and an unofficial elder statesman for student-led activist movements. "I fully expect to see the inside of a jail cell." He's not alone. Iranian authorities are stepping up arrests and pressure on popular bloggers as part of a wider Internet clampdown launched after hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became president last year, ending years of freewheeling Web access that once made Iran among the most vibrant online locales in the Middle East. The Internet censors are busy. Their targets include sexual content, international politics, local grumbling, chat rooms and anything else that makes the Islamic leadership uneasy. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, a prominent human rights lawyer, estimates at least 50 bloggers have been detained since last year.

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